One Hundred Words (34)

09/18/2008, 11:00 am -- by | No Comments

It’s not that I think I’m anything great. Honestly, I’m not here to brag. But sometimes, I put my pants on both legs at the same time. I did it just this morning.

It’s not even that hard, if you’re sitting down. In fact, I find it easier than if I were to put them on one leg at a time while standing up. On they went, both legs at once, without a thought nor scarcely any effort.

But again, I’m nothing special. Please believe me. I put my jacket on one arm at a time, just like anyone else.


One Hundred Words (33)

09/12/2008, 10:15 am -- by | 2 Comments

My umbrella broke last week: stuck closed, locked up, defeated by the rust of a year.

I came outside today to a warm and steady rain, harder than drizzle, softer than patter. There was nothing to do but walk, as my suitcoat swerved from black to dappled grey to darkest black again. Soaked through, I walked and prayed, waited at — and waded through — busy, car-choked intersections, and skidded along uneven stones that mark the upscale sidewalks.

I will get an umbrella soon. I need one. But this morning, life felt more real and imminent. Dressing up, walking out, facing the rain, alone.


One Hundred Words (32)

09/10/2008, 10:16 am -- by | No Comments

I have two classes on a given day. One professor seems self-absorbed and condescending when answering questions. He requires that we turn our cell phones off — completely off — because vibrations, even shielded by knapsacks, are too disruptive. I wouldn’t want to be disruptive, so I comply. In a few weeks, some phones have already gone off at full volume.

The same day, I have another, much larger, class with an engaging, funny, interesting professor. He respects our work. I don’t think he said anything about phones. I haven’t heard a single phone go off during his class since day one.


One Hundred Words (31)

08/25/2008, 2:30 pm -- by | 2 Comments

I heard this in Target’s shoe section on Sunday:

Mom: Don’t you pull that tooth out, Morgan Bradley!
Daughter: Why not?
Mom: Because the tooth fairy is off tonight.
Daughter: No, she’s not! Really?
Mom: She’s in Jamaica. Didn’t you know that? She’s on vacation. I wish I was in Jamaica with the tooth fairy.

Later, the daughter wandered the shoe aisles, preparing to ask for Hannah Montana paraphernalia.

Daughter: Mom! Mom, where are you?
Mom: (sneaking around the aisles) Mom isn’t here right now! Please check back later. (snicker)
Daughter: Mo-om!

I could enjoy being that kind of mom.


One Hundred Words (30)

08/20/2008, 10:00 am -- by | No Comments

Any list of the best Biblical names has to start with Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, second son of Isaiah, immortalized in chapter 8 of his father’s book. The NKJV translates his name literally as “Speed the Spoil, Hasten the Booty.”

What’s “Hasten the Booty” not a good motto for? It was perfect for a college intramural water polo team, I’ll tell you that.

The strangest thing I ever learned about this name is that Corrie Ten Boom, that brave Dutch woman who saved so many Jews from the Holocaust and survived three months in a German concentration camp, used it for her cat.


One Hundred Words (29)

08/16/2008, 9:00 am -- by | 3 Comments

Medieval standards, it seems, were lower in every department. Hygiene was hit-or-miss, you ate whatever you could, and there weren’t nearly as many comfortable places to sit.

But perhaps nowhere is the chasm separating us from antiquity wider than female beauty. Toss a wig and a silly hat on me and I could pass for Helen of Troy! A really tall, flat-chested version, but still…

Fathered by cygnine Zeus, she was repeatedly kidnapped for her unsurpassed beauty, attracted every red-blooded Greek, and caused a deadly war through infidelity. She even blinded a poet who insulted her!

And she looked like THIS?


One Hundred Words (28)

08/14/2008, 10:00 pm -- by | No Comments

What\’s my best memory from the wedding last week? Well, the ceremony was great, the dinner was good, and the reception room looked ama-za-zing. And almost everyone from our families was able to be there, which was very nice.

But for me, the best memory was watching my younger daughter join her father and her sister (the bride) for the father/daughter dance.

The three twirled and swirled a bit, then their dad did a double swing-out to perfection — which I, of course, captured on film. Their smiles were breathtaking and priceless. I think it could cheer up my darkest day.


One Hundred Words (27)

08/12/2008, 1:00 pm -- by | 1 Comment

Today I came downstairs, absolutely certain that my brain was going to implode. I had misplaced my passport, and today I am leaving the country.

Up and down the newly carpeted stairs, the dull thudding of my feet and my heartbeat in my ears; unconcealed curses aimed at no one began my day.

I considered crying — but what good would that do? Emotionalism isn\’t really the answer to such a practical problem, and besides, breaking down in a mess of snot and mascara never solved any problems.

It had fallen down behind my jewelry box drawer. How simple.


One Hundred Words (26)

07/29/2008, 9:00 am -- by | 1 Comment

Do you love to sweat? Do you love the Garden State? If you do, you will love my plans for Saturday. Six friends and I will be running the River to Sea Relay, a 92-mile relay race across New Jersey. We will be starting at 7:25 AM at Milford, on the Delaware River, and hopefully 13 hours later will collapse into the Atlantic Ocean, but not before traveling through 34 beautiful New Jersey towns. The sights, the sounds — and yes, that unique New Jersey smell — will be enjoyed by all. I’ll share pictures and a write-up next Monday.


One Hundred Words (25)

07/28/2008, 9:00 am -- by | No Comments

I may own more ironic T-shirts than any other registered Republican. I don’t know that I’m proud of this, but they sure beat sweater vests — and they’re useful when meeting people.

One of the best is the iconic, pink “I’m Too Pretty To Work.” On me, the assertion is incontrovertibly false, so missing this obvious dissonance marks you as overly polite or serious, maybe even slow.

But I watch most closely those who find it too funny, who draw undue attention to obvious absurdity. For I have found that those challenged by both irony and empathy are often unworthy of trust.


One Hundred Words (24)

07/10/2008, 9:00 am -- by | No Comments

Do you know what are amazing? Babies.

I recently learned something stunning from a ministry teaching by Arthur Burke. He cited a secular researcher who discovered a group of adults who had committed suicide on the date their mothers attempted or thought about attempting an abortion when these adults had been babies. They found the connection when they contacted the mothers. Those people apparently had not been suicidal on the days preceding or following this date, only on that specific date. And none of the grown adults knew about their mothers’ abortion plans. Wrap your head around that.


One Hundred Words (23)

07/8/2008, 9:00 am -- by | No Comments

“Will ye steal, murder and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations?’ Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.”

There is no free pass.


One Hundred Words (22)

07/2/2008, 2:00 am -- by | 1 Comment

I fall in love with every car I drive.

The first was a huge silver Dodge with a diesel engine and a roar that herded cows more than once.

The second was a little red Toyota stick shift. I loved to hear the (shift) VROOM (shift) VROOM that made me feel like a drag racer. (The very day I named it Macbeth, it blew a head gasket and soundly died.)

Now I\’m driving a Ram Charger with gargantuan wheels and fantastic speakers. I lean back with one arm out the window, music blasting, and feel a little bit awesome.


One Hundred Words (21)

06/27/2008, 9:45 am -- by | 1 Comment

“Do not be . . . yoked with unbelievers . . . what communion has light with darkness?”2 Cor 6:14

I heard George Carlin died this week. It was surprising; he was younger than I thought and never a favorite, so I didn’t keep up. I realized I disliked him because I could always hear anger in his humor, even the clean stuff. He seemed an angry, vile, vulgar, dark man who couldn\’t mask that persona. I only hope in his last moments, he saw the light and found seven other words to express himself — “Help me Jesus; save my soul tonight.”


One Hundred Words (20)

06/26/2008, 9:00 am -- by | No Comments

Behind every preacher’s confident gaze there is a wondering if she is being heard. In every sermon there is a hint of vocational crisis. Whenever someone has something urgent to say, it is equally urgent that someone — anyone! — is listening.

It often seems to laypeople that preachers treat preaching as its own reward, that preachers are a different breed somehow. Yet we rely on the same means of grace as anyone else: a kind word of thanks or specific appreciation for a new insight you got from a sermon or her example.

Hug a preacher — odds are he needs it.


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